Dark Souls II Is Almost Here. Are you Prepared?

DARK SOULS II
Dark Souls II: The character customisation and intense detail in the game is jaw-dropping.

Praise the sun, and prepare to die …again! FromSoftware is getting set to release Dark Souls 2 and you’d better get ready for a merciless butt-kicking.

As with its notoriously patience-testing predecessor, players will be plunged into a world of danger and despair, where they will have to exhibit a combination of skill, strategy and outright pluck to successfully navigate through the game.

The sense of unease and loneliness is amplified with death looming around every corner, and for online gamers, there is a constant threat of another player invading your quiet little world at any moment. You can’t sit and hide by the bonfire forever.

With gorgeous graphics contrasting against the harsh settings and events of the game, a vastly improved online and PVP combat system, and a much more intricate focus on enemy A.I, Dark Souls 2 is shaping up to claim more souls then ever before.

Dark Souls 2 will be released for PS3 and Xbox 360 in just under two weeks on March 14th, with very limited special preorders still available at Game and Amazon. It has been announced that the PC edition will be released on April 25th.

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Multimedia package: Animal Homelessness.

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Animal Homelessness in the UK
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Animal homelessness is a huge issue in the UK.  Based on survey findings, Dogs Trust estimated that in 2013, there were over 111,000 stray dogs in the UK. While this is shocking, Celia Hammond Animal Trust has estimated that there are at least 2 million stray cats on UK streets. To make matters worse, animal shelters in the UK put thousands of animals to sleep every year, because there are too many animals needing homes, and not enough people willing to adopt them. Pledges to try and stop this cycle include an online PETA petition, which aims to support and raise awareness of birth control for animals, so that so many lives needn’t be lost.
People who are passionately helping towards this cause include Andrea Parkin of Animal Krackers, an animal rescue charity in Sunderland.
Speaking about her passion, Andrea said: “I’ve always had animals in my life, and I’ve always done a lot of fundraising and charity work. So, when the opportunity came along to establish somewhere in Sunderland where animals could be looked after, we jumped into the deep end.”
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The charity, which was established in 2002, has re-homed hundreds of animals, and aims to advance the education of the public in terms of animal welfare in general.
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However, the issue of limited spaces, funds, and fosterers is always looming in the horizon.  Many animal lovers believe that “adopt, don’t buy” is the way forward, and that every time someone purchases an animal in a shop, or from a breeder, a rescue animal effectively loses its second chance at life.
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Lynne Ebdale, of Sunderland animal rescue charity Pawz For Thought, agrees with PETA’s ‘buying animals is killing animals’ campaign. She said: “This kind of breeding has got to stop. Facebook, Gumtree. I think in the industry it’s called Scumtree, because it is full of animals and it is horrific.” Lynne often receives calls from people who have bought dogs or other animals from Gumtree, Facebook, or other such places, found out they were aggressive or unsociable, and called her asking if she can help. She has had to turn these animals away because they would not be able to be rehomed.
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Andrea agreed with Lynne. She said: “I just think it’s not the right way to go about it. It’s not a commodity; it is not like buying a bike or a new television. It is a living creature, and I don’t like the idea of animals being sold on Gumtree.”
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Because there are many irresponsible people out there, from owners to breeders, it can mean that lots of animals get abandoned. From unwanted kittens at Christmas, to a couple splitting up and sending their pet dog to a shelter. Sometimes, people drive up to shelters and dump the animals there; selfishly assuming the shelter will be able to take the animal on regardless of all circumstances. Lynne said: “This is why we don’t advertise the main place we look after the animals. It’s too much when people dump their animals here. We only advertise the charity shop, but people still leave animals there, too.”
Over the recent festive period, people have dumped kittens, and a baby rabbit at Pawz For Thought.
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Again, some people dump the animals in the streets, where feral colonies of animals, particularly cats, exist. These stray animals are often feral, so even if they are rescued, it is very unlikely they will ever be able to have the normal, loving home they need, especially if they happen to be a medium – large dog.
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 However, an example of a previously feral dog that anyone but Andrea and her companions at Animal Krackers would have instantly labeled a lost cause is Zena. She stayed at Ferryfarm Kennels with the other Animal Krackers rescue dogs, and has progressed rapidly: from hostile and nervous, to loving and curious. She is currently being fostered, and hopefully has found her forever home.
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Yet not all animals are given a chance to have a better life. Many of the animals sold in pet shops come from puppy and kitten mills, and are often extremely ill because of the conditions of the dark, dirty place they have been kept in. They may not have seen sunlight in years, and probably suffer in awful ways after being trapped inside a small cage. This is certainly not to say that all breeders are horribly irresponsible, but the reality is that around 100,000 dogs, and thousands more cats end up in shelters every year; and out of those, only a few are ever adopted. There is an animal overpopulation crisis, and awareness about this needs to be spread.
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Animal rescue charity video:
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Animal rescue charity slideshow:
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Spending time without the internet…

I rarely used the internet before I started my university course, but when I did start to use it, I joined the other 36 million people in the UK (that’s 73% of the UK population), and existed online daily, doing really inane, pointless things. From scouring eBay along with its self-proclaimed 14 million other users, to watching videos of metal concerts and game trailers by joining half of all internet users and visiting YouTube, I was (and still am) making a pitiful contribution and use of the world wide web.

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But I can’t be the only one to feel like I’ve wasted a fair bit of my time online. 1 billion people use the internet every week, and a massive 83% of UK households have access to the internet. What’s more is we use it a lot, and more people are gaining internet access. A survey by the Guardian shows that there has been an increase of 20 million households with online access since 2006. So it’s certainly safe to conclude that using the internet is considered more “normal” than not.

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According to go-gulf.com, internet users spend at least 22% of their online time visiting social media sites, and I do have profiles on Facebook and Twitter, with its 554 million users (statisticbrain.com), but I’m not sure I use either in a particularly meaningful way.

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In any case, an article from the Daily Mail (using quotes from legitimate psychologists, apparently) has suggested that not using Facebook can make one seem antisocial, or furthermore, a “psychopath”. Apparently, it is highly suspicious for a member of the younger generation to not have a Facebook profile, as it is now “the norm” to have one; – according to expandingramblings.com, over 1.15 billion other people have one, don’t you know.

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Anyway, for about five weeks before I resumed my university course, I didn’t have any internet access. I assumed I’d miss Facebook or Googling things like 1 billion other people do every day, so I sulked over the phone at the poor TalkTalk customer advisor, who, bless his heart, apologised that the spoilt girl on the other end of the line would have to wait over a whole month until someone could come set everything up. I had already been without internet for a week and was internally screaming that I’d missed an episode of Breaking Bad.

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However, on the whole, I barely missed the internet. Aside from certain shows and an itch to look at Iron Fist’s glorious shoe sale, I wasn’t missing anything. I’ll admit, like Megan Durisin of BusinessInsider.com, I also think online banking is the way forward, so I skulked over to Starbucks for a smoothie and a glance at my online RBS account. But apart from that, I found it unexpectedly easy to be internet-free. I read books, enjoying them far more than I thought I would. I baked, I generally slept better, and I indulged in long phone-calls with people I’d usually just message on Facebook.

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Before I started writing this, I hadn’t used the internet in over 24 hours to have an even fresher experience of being without it. When I did briefly use it before switching off, I lingered on Facebook, depressing myself and really not caring (to the point of feeling resentment) that someone was mad with their parents for not getting them an expensive enough car, or that GCSEs are unnecessary when you have ‘swag’. It’s hardly surprising when according to The Economist, Facebook is associated with jealousy, social tension, isolation and depression. 

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Although I’m not saying this is true for everyone, I find the internet to be something that gives me an excuse to procrastinate, mashes my productivity, and sometimes induces a permanent state of sluggish boredom within me. Again, this probably isn’t universal, plus I play video games pretty frequently (lots more than using the internet if I can help it) and didn’t disqualify them during the 24 hours my router was off. Some would probably argue games can have a similar effect in that they might become a distracting and often sedimentary part of a person’s lifestyle.

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So, because the only technology I have any real interest in revolves around console gaming, I am not among the rest of the nation who, according to Ofcom, are apparently addicted to smartphones. My phone is not smart, but it is pink. I don’t even use it for anything other than texting or calling. Anyway, being addicted to smartphones probably boils down to being addicted to the internet and whatnot. But the internet isn’t necessarily bad, or evil. In proportion, it can be great, like many things. For example, Match.com claims that one in five relationships begin online. I don’t have any dating site to thank, but I ‘met’, or discovered, the person I now live with online. There’s all kinds of brilliant things you can do and learn about online, but it sure doesn’t hurt to take a break from it once in a while. Give it a try.

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Iron Fist Shoe Sale Snaffles.

Iron Fist has a clearance sale on.

If you haven’t checked it out, do it now. I think they keep adding more stuff, but once the last item of its kind been bought, they are not restocking.

Hop to it!

It’s my birthday on Thursday (May 2nd) so I got three pairs of shoes in the sale that I’ve been eyeing up for a very, very long time.

These Bite Me! Super Platform boots  for example, I’d been gazing at with incredibly misty eyes for about a year or so. Look at them… Perfect for nights out, or to meet friends for coffee, or you could put them on for a dinner date, anything really! I adore platform boots; usually they’re quite comfy and because they feel so secure and wrapped around your feet, you are much less likely to stumble, lose your footing and fall like the tipsy idiot you might be while wearing them at a party, etc. Plus you can sneakily wear chunky socks for added comfort and no one would even need to know. You definitely can’t do that with many going-out shoes…

 They were £99.99 and reduced to £39.99. Super!

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iron fist shoes

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I almost always wear my Iron Fist Motopsycho Fug boots  for Uni as they’re incredibly comfortable, but they’re getting pretty worn on the soles. I saw these Siesta Skull fugs (below) last summer, and decided recently that they would make an ideal replacement for my current ones. They look like winter shoes but honestly, you do not want to wear these around snow or rain! They’re a little bit like slippers. So, wear them on days that are dry and not too hot (probably won’t have to worry about that in the UK, but watch out for those summer showers!) One of my favourite things about them is that if you’ve been out the previous night, these things are perfect to wear the next day for tired, sore feet.

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They were £49.99, and are now £19.99.

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Iron Fist Siesta Skull boots.

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Finally, I love tattoos (and I’ll be posting a picture of my new tattoo at some point soon) so naturally Iron Fist’s pink Love Me, Love Me Not flats stole my heart. I’d definitely wear these for practically any occasion. Plus, I’m going to dye my hair hot pink again soon, so I won’t need to think about whether anything matches my shoes for a bit. Hmm!

They were £31.99, and are now only £12.79. How could I not?

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Iron Fist pink flats

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Oh, also. There’s a dress to go with the Bite Me! ankle boots, (there are a lot of clothes in the Bite Me! collection) but it’s sold out, aw.

I even emailed the Iron Fist help team, and they said they aren’t bringing ’em back. This is what I mean when I say, get it before it goes!

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bite me dressiron fist bite me dress back

Aquolina Pink Sugar perfume review

It’s been a long time coming: I actually got this perfume a little while ago now but I’ve been super busy, and I aimed to try and get some blogging bits and bobs done, but as my fellow uni student and blogger Melody has recently pointed out on her blog, it’s definitely not always rainbows and butterflies

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this one

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Anyway, the whole point of the purchase was because, as previously mentioned, my favourite perfume by Gwen Stefani is no longer in production, and I was really hoping that this Pink Sugar perfume was as similar to it as I’d heard!

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I hadn’t even heard of Aquolina before. Apparently this was their first fragrance and it was launched in like 2004, so I definitely haven’t stumbled upon some brand new fragrance, but it’s new to me!

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First off, the container is kind of cute; the girly pink candy cane design does live up to its name. I think some people might find it a little tacky, but I don’t think it’s trying to be anything like the next mysterious, sensual and pristinely presented Dior fragrance anyway.

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Pink sugar

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The actual bottle is a bit … Unexciting (if I’m to be totally honest, it sort of looks like one of those overly-diluted knock-off perfumes you get from a cheap cosmetics/accessories shop) but remember, the smell is what is the most important!

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Right, so it doesn’t smell like Gwen Stefani’s (Sunshine Cuties) Lil’ Angel, but everyone has a totally different perception of smell, so a lot of people might not agree. However, most people can usually agree on whether something smells good or not.

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In my opinion, it shares (but definitely not the same amounts of) the notes of vanilla, citrus bursts, and the sugary, sweetshop smell that Lil’ Angel had. However, they’re still very different fragrances. If Pink Candy were a colour, it would be much darker than Lil’ Angel. It smells like it’s meant for wearing at night more than day.

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It has a kind of musky, even slightly masculine smell in there somewhere  (if you’ve ever smelt Ghost – Deep Night, it’s kind of like the heavy, musky smell from that) which, in Pink Candy, is probably meant to balance out the sweetness of the syrupy fragrance you get from initially spraying the perfume. I know absolutely nothing about making perfume (the closest thing I ever did to that was crushing flower petals in an attempt to make my own fragrance as a child. It didn’t work, it was terrible) but did they really have to include the musky smell in there? I don’t mind super-sweet!

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Upon more sniffs, and when it’s settled onto your skin some more, it kind of smells like there could be elements of dusty pot pourri somewhere… And the masculine-like smell is reminiscent of a guy when he’s come out of the gym, and has put unreal amounts of the world’s most wallet-friendly deodorant on to cover up any sniffable traces of his workout, cos he didn’t have time for a shower or something. There’s nothing wrong with men’s deodorant/aftershave  (especially Cool Water hgrngnghh) but I just don’t want it in a woman’s perfume, especially if it’s called Pink Candy.

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However, it smells so, so great on clothes. You cannot trace the manly scent at all, it smells as it was probably meant to smell when the actual people behind the fragrance started making it: fruity, sugary and refreshing, with a lot of vanilla. So, spray it on your clothes and your hair (especially if you’ve ruined it and it’s as synthetic-feeling as mine, it’ll probably absorb that perfume like a sponge) …You can even go all out and put it on your skin, -unless you hate musky undertones in your perfume.

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It is definitely a pleasant smell overall, and it’s a quirky, unusual and fun fragrance, and hey, maybe it’s just my skin smelling naturally like a man’s cheap body spray when it comes into contact with Pink Sugar (uhh.) but it does the same job (makes you smell amazing) when you spray it on your clothes anyway. I’ve used a fair bit of it, but it’s probably not my signature. Because there’s quite a lot of it, I’m not sure I’d replace it when I run out, I’ll probably try something different.

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Basically, it smells like:

Lemon, vanilla/caramel, sugar, orange, jelly beans, fun, BUT if you smell too hard it smells like crappy car air freshener, old pot pourri, lame deodorant.

  • All in all, just put it on your clothes, man.

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SunnyCon Preparations!

I’ve been buying bits and pieces for SunnyCon for a couple of weeks now, and I’ve just realised how much it’s adding up – I should definitely have started buying earlier in advance…

If any of you have ever played anything from the Dead or Alive series, then you’ll know who I’m cosplaying pretty quickly.

Kasumi from Dead or Alive has been my favourite character ever since I first played the original DOA, when I was teeny tiny.

Basically this is one of the costumes she can wear, which is available throughout most of the DOA series:

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DOA

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DOA 2 (the original)

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DOA 3

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DOA Ultimate

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and DOA 4

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I don’t think the outfit is available at all in DOA5 unless it’s going to be/already has been made available as DLC, but it was one of my favourites!

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Her hair colour and eye shape (and face shape and body proportions) have changed so much since DOA 4 too, which is a shame really, but I’m just sentimental.

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I still love the newer game – (and I can’t wait for Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge)

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Anyway! Everything for the outfit is sorted, including the actual uniform/costume, a ginger wig (my hair has been many, many colours but I don’t know if I’d dye it ginger just for two days) and some dark brown circle lenses.

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…I may have to trim the fringe slightly

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Adorable cosplay outfit from eBay (Hong Kong)

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I’ve also recently bought some beautiful Demonia Charade 23 platform heels which I’ll probably wear with the outfit too. They were only £17 with an RRP of like, £56-£70. And they’re an investment. 

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None of the stuff is here yet, but there will be photos within the next couple weeks…

And a video covering SunnyCon, of course. So, keep your eyes peeled!

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Kreepsville 666 College Dress

I’m absolutely hopeless.

My bursary from Uni was conveniently late, I was meaning to use most of it for my overdraft and then sort my phone bill out and  -oops-  I bought the Kreepsville 666 college dress that was on my recent wishlist.

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kreepsville 666 Ghouls College Dress

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You probably saw it coming, so let’s just lower our arched eyebrows and stop being angry at my inability to resist temptation. What’s that? It got here pretty quickly? Uh… I may have ordered it via next-day delivery …{£8.99}

But do you not think it was simply MADE for a Wednesday 13 gig?

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Wednesday 13 - calling all corpses

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I do.

Photos and a proper review will be coming soon!

ALTERNATIVE FASHION PHOTOSHOOT: JEM.

As my blog is all about alternative fashion, I thought I might as well upload the photoshoots I did for my fashion coursework, including the photos I didn’t submit. I’m lucky enough to have some very lovely people in my life, thank you girls.

This is Jem.

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Jem

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We did another gorgeous shoot with two different outfits too, so keep a look out for it in the future!